We have 3 children.
It was recently my 3rd child’s birthday, and I noticed a difference. He turned 2. It is a birthday that I didn’t plan. I didn’t invite anyone. I didn’t make a cake. In fact, we went the day of his birthday to Costco and bought one. It didn’t have a baseball, or a truck, or his favorite Disney character on it. It was just one of the cakes that was already in the case.
I didn’t decorate. There were no balloons or even the birthday banner that we put up for every birthday. We DID have his favorite dinner of spaghetti. However, we had forgotten to check about birthday candles, so we stuck two emergency candles into the cake and he enthusiastically blew them out. (We read a birthday book to him for the week before his birthday so that he would know to blow out the candles.)
This is so much different than the birthdays of my first two children. Maybe it is because we understand that he will never remember it. He will have the pictures and videos that we took. But the level of pageantry will never be recalled. So, I’ll save my energy for later when he wants a big deal done about his birthday. No need to stress myself out over a birthday that he won’t remember. I just need to make him feel loved, no matter how simple it is.